Rainwater, river water,
Groundwater, floodwaters;

Cold mountain stream water,
Brackish lagoon waters;

Water that slowly seeps into a wetland,
Water that rushes down a waterfall.

Gigaliters of water.

Adapter from Leah Gibbs (2006, Valuing Water).

In the Everglades


We’re like the three blind men

Looking at an elephant –


One man feels the leg, 

Another sizes the trunk,

And a third senses the body.


And half the time, we’re not

Examining the same animal.


Director of the Duke Wetland Center, North Carolina,

In Bill Schreever (2001) Saving Louisiana? The Battle for Coastal Wetlands.

The Old River Control Structure

Wetlands are good.

Wetlands are great.

Swamps and marshes both.

That’s what we used to call them,

‘Swamps' and 'marshes’.


I’ve been hunting and fishing

As long as I remember,

And no one likes wetlands

More than I do.


But Louisiana’s wetlands aren’t disappearing

Just because of the Old River Control Structure.

Read the newspapers.

We’ve got experts behind every tree –

Professors, government scientists, et cetera,

Who all think they know what’s wrong

With Louisiana’s wetlands.


You look at the facts,

Size everything up

And the picture gets blurred.


Maybe it’s the Old River Control Structure.

Maybe it’s oil field canals,

Or sea level rise,

Who knows what else.


And it’s not just in the Delta

That the wetlands are disappearing.

Up and down the river

The bottomlands are gone.


And not just here,

All along the Quachita River, too.

Take a ride along any river

Or bayou in Louisiana

And it’s the same thing.


But people want something to blame.


And we've got the big structure right here -

This big chunk of concrete and steel

Out in the middle of nowhere

Run by the government.


A maintenance crew member of the Old (Mississippi) River Control Structure in Bill Streever (2002): Saving Louisiana: The Battle For Coastal Wetlands (pp. 14-15). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.


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